PCA and PCA UltraLite are fundamentally the same; both allow you to code and track transactions, though they differ in setup, implementation, and the way codes are reported.
PCA requires users to create a formal Chart of Accounts that is entered into FIN. Additionally, before entering the chart of accounts in FIN, the organization code must be activated for PCA in FIN. Once the organization code is active and the Chart of Accounts has been entered in FIN, users will see default codes appearing in the Task, Option and Project fields of the Transaction Summary. These default codes will appear for all transactions on budgets under the active PCA organization code that do not have PCA codes applied. Transactions that do have PCA codes applied will display the codes on the Transaction Summary report in MyFinancial.desktop.
PCA UltraLite does not require a formal Chart of Accounts to be created and entered in FIN. Nor does it require the organization code to be activated in FIN. Just as PCA Lite, PCA UltraLite codes can be added when initiating and submitting a wide variety of financial transactions (example: Procard, eProcurement, PAS, UW-IT, etc). PCA UltraLite allows users to enter codes on posted transactions, on an as-needed basis, in MyFinancial.desktop (via an Expense Transfer). These codes will appear on the Transaction Summary report and can be queried (make sure the query contains the report fields "PCA Original." The perk to PCA UltraLite is ease and flexibility in coding, though it does require more work for reporting.
Advantages of creating a formal Chart of Accounts (PCA):
- PCA codes are visible in MyFD Transaction Summary Report (in addition to the Transaction Detail Report and via the query tool)
- FIN validates/edits PCA codes are it processes your financial transactions
- Provides a system default set of codes that will be applied to all transactions in the relevant org code, reducing the amount of data entry required
Advantages of using PCA UltraLite:
- Ease of implementation: Just start using your codes. You do not need to activate or set anything up in FIN
- Maximum flexibility: If your reporting needs change, you can easily start to use new codes (note that changes will not be reflected on any historical data for transactions that have already posted)
When deciding which version of PCA is better for you, it is worth thinking about how you anticipate reporting on the codes. If you're extracting data to a shadow system, PCA UltraLite may not work for you. If you're happy running queries for PCA codes as needed, it's an enticing option. Additionally, consider the volume of transactions you anticipate coding; if you're using one or two codes, PCA UltraLite is likely fine. If you're coding all transactions and using numerous codes, PCA may be a better fit.